Women Playing Vital Role in Australian Diplomacy

Media Release

8 March 2001

Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

On International Womens Day, it is appropriate to acknowledge the vital role that women are playing in advancing Australia's national interests through our diplomatic service. The Coalition Government has appointed 20 women to head Australian missions overseas since 1996.� There are currently 13 women leading Australian overseas posts � more than ever before.

  • Margaret Adamson, Ambassador to Poland
  • Sue Boyd, High Commissioner to Fiji
  • Lisa Filipetto, Consul-General, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Denise Fisher, High Commissioner to Zimbabwe
  • Janet Gardiner, Ambassador to Portugal
  • Louise Hand, Ambassador to Cambodia
  • Joanna Hewitt, Ambassador to Belgium and EU
  • Sally Mansfield, Consul-General, New Caledonia
  • Sharyn Minahan, Ambassador to Argentina
  • Victoria Owen, Ambassador to Egypt
  • Ruth Pearce, Ambassador to Russia
  • Penny Richards, Consul-General, Shanghai
  • Penny Wensley, Australian Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York

Pamela Fayle is a Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade based in Canberra and Australia's Ambassador to APEC.

Australia's development cooperation program, managed through the Government's overseas aid agency AusAID, is run by women at a number of overseas locations.

  • Irene Davies, Counsellor, Pretoria
  • Jacqui Delacy, Counsellor, United Nations New York
  • Sun-Hee Lee, Counsellor, Hanoi
  • Angela Mercuri, Honiara
  • Leanne Merrett, Nuku'alofa
  • Susan Nelson, Colombo
  • Margaret Regnault, Minister/Counsellor, Port Moresby
  • Margaret Thomas, Counsellor, Dili
  • Donelle Wheeler, Counsellor, Beijing

Australia's diplomatic service offers women challenging and stimulating careers. I would strongly encourage more women to consider career opportunities in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and AusAID. Careers in these agencies can be personally and professionally rewarding, while helping to advance Australia's national interests and work on issues of significance to the international community.

Media inquiries: Matt Francis (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / 0419 206 890
Julie McDonald (DFAT) 02 6261 1555


Last Updated: 19 September 2014